CAREER: Specification and Verification of Compiler Algorithms

Project: Research project

Project Details


The research goal of this CAREER project is the formal specification and verification of algorithms that support the implementation of programming languages. Such formal systems can aid the development of new languages and efficient implementation of these languages. This support arises from both the verification of algorithms, which increases confidence in the correctness of a compiler, and from the improved understanding of compilation techniques allowed by formal specification. Recent work has focused on using logical frameworks and mechanized proof assistants to specify deductive systems representing aspects of compilation and to verify the correctness of these specifications. This research project extends these results by considering advanced, state-of-the-art algorithms found in current compilers, formalizing theories for these algorithms, and verifying the correctness of these algorithms. One specific problem area to be addressed involves closure conversion algorithms and the concept of `safe-for-space complexity.` An important aspect of this project is extending the use of mechanized proof assistants to support the verification of complex flow analyses and optimizations of programs. The goal of the education plan is to provide both a general, but rigorous, introduction to the study of programming languages at the undergraduate level and would introduce, at both the undergraduate and graduate level, the recently emerging field of logic and computation which studies the relationship between constructive logics and typed lambda calculi. Although this is typically considered advanced material and not suitable for undergraduates, it can be made accessible to students.

Effective start/end date5/1/954/30/98


  • National Science Foundation: $130,000.00


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